Multiplayer multi-montior gaming

I am trying to research the best way to set up multiplayer gaming (in house) with multi-montiors. I want to be able to play mostly FPS games with my three boys, so a total of four monitors. What is the best hardware route? Is there any reason to consider doing this with consoles? Cost effective is key here since we are talking about four montiors/TVs, but I don't want to sacrifice quality too much.

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  1. if your thinking 1 player per screen there isnt a pc game that will allow you to do that.
    you will need 4 pc's 4 games and 4 monitors
  2. Yes even if a consle game has 4 player on one screen you cant tell each player to use a different screen. plus the console only has one monitor output. Same with pc, you can have 1 game over many monitors but not many screen and players from one computer.
  3. if you wanted to do the PC route (you would need a computer to handle it), you can look in to Xpandsoft DUO, you can purchase a license for something like $40 and it allows for multiple monitors, keyboards and mice to be assigned to each monitor for individual log in on one computer, i dont know the max amount of connections it handles though. it allows shared resources of CPU and GPU
  4. Xpandsoft looks interesting, but I think I would just go ESXI. It's free and much less likely to cause issues.

    Here's what I'm thinking:

    Get an old 8 core server ($200-500)
    Use ESXI and create virtual machines (free)
    Build thin clients with higher end graphics cards, lots of RAM and grab second hand monitors for now(unknown cost)
    share the GPU resources (not yet released for VMware, but Linux has Spice Virtual Server which would work)-have to be a couple of serious cards though, RAM would be expensive, special drivers and the bandwidth to transmit

    I guess basically our own LAN party, but with thin clients. Anyone have any experience trying this? Anyone know if you can get deals on multi-license games? App virtualisation?

  5. you can always check out cd-key websites where they sell you just the CD-key (normally they will provide a download link for the game as well), but it is cheaper than buying it in stores, steam also has 4-packs normally for multiplayer games.

    so you would have the server with the vitual machines on it and then the thin clients connect to it, there is a way to use the local client GPU with that VM? i guess that works if you have limited hard drive space that would be awesome.
  6. That is the basic idea. Using VMware you have to use the client graphics as they don't support server side gpu sharing... yet. The RAM is a bit more complex. Problem here is that server RAM is very expensive and virtualisation is a RAM hog. Each client will probably need a good 8GB too (on top whatever the server wants), this might add up to make the whole thing too expensive say versus four duo core machines.

    Thanks for info re: four packs, didn't realise that.
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